By Faye Sunderland 16 September 2009
Prime Minister, Gordon Brown visited Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant yesterday, to issue a statement that likely warmed the hearts of worried workers there. According to Wirral News, the Prime Minister said the Government was putting its ‘faith in the future of Ellesmere Port’ as he toured the production facilities at the plant. He later praised the employees as ‘the best workers in Europe’ and reassured senior management that the Government would help Vauxhall’s UK plants keep production going. The visit to Ellesmere Port came after it was confirmed that Canadian firm, Magna would be purchasing a 51 per cent stake in Opel and Vauxhall operations. Parent company of the two brands, GM is in the process of selling off European operations as part of a restructuring process designed to make the US car giant profitable again. Representatives from Maga flew to Britain yesterday to discuss plans to secure loans from the Government in order to keep Vauxhall’s two UK plants running. It is believed that Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson is prepared to commit about £400 million to Magna to secure the future of the Ellesmere Port plant which manufactures the Astra model and the Luton plant which make Vauxhall’s commercial vehicles. Vauxhall employs around 6,000 people in the UK. Magna has committed to keeping the Luton plant open only until 2013.